Over the past few days, our group has traveled across Bolivia, immersing ourselves into different cultures from around the area. We started in La Paz, preparing for our trek through the Andes that lasted 3 nights and 4 days. We grabbed some neccessities that we had forgotten earlier, and drove to the trail head. The first day of the trek was completely downhill, and we slept on the soccer field of a local school. The forthcoming days were far more challenging than the first. The second day came with difficult water crossings and extremely difficult uphill climbs. I did need to use my inhaler in the middle of our second climbs´ hardest day. After a restful night of sleep, we moved on to the third and final full day. On this day, we faced a challenge titled:¨El Diablo¨. I had to use my inhaler yet again for El Diablo because it was the most prolonged and difficuñt uphill that we had faced yet. I finished that day just fine, and enjoyed a peaceful night at camp. The next morning, the last of our trek, consisted of a couple hours of downhill hiking. Overall, the trek was enjoyable, but it was easily one of the hardest things I´ve ever had to do physically. After our trek, we drove back to La Paz to shower and prepare for our following nights in our group homestays. Chrissy and I were in a homestay together in Santiago de Okola, a small town on the edge of Lake Titicaca. Our homestay had really good food, yet the diet there mainly consisted of potatoes and quinoa. As Chrissy and I struggled to communicate with our homestay families, we actually larned a lot of Spanish. In our freetime during the homestay, everyone including the leaders and the faculty played soccer with us on a beautiful new turf field by the town´s school. I scored a couple of goals in our little pickup games, but everyone was always winded after playing hours of soccer at 12,000 feet in altitude. After our homestay, we drove back to La Paz, where we are now. After reviewing the experiences I´ve had over the last few days, I consider myself luck to be here in such a beautiful place, and I cannot wait to share the rest of my experiences.
Olivia (Livy) Edwards